The Revolt of the Eaglets by Jean Plaidy

The Revolt of the Eaglets by Jean Plaidy was first published in 1977.

The year is 1171 and King Henry Plantagenet is celebrating the arrival of the New Year in Castle Argentan, he’s looking forward to returning to England soon where he’ll be reunited with his long-term mistress Rosamund Clifford. Their affair is common knowledge now since his wife of nineteen years Queen Eleanor discovered it.

When Henry gets word that Thomas a Beckett has been murdered by four of Henry’s men, in Canterbury Cathedral, he’s furious as he knows he will be blamed for it, well in truth he did more or less give the order for the argumentative Thomas to be got rid of. Within two years Thomas has been canonised by the Pope.

Queen Eleanor is a woman scorned. She was a powerful woman before she married Henry, she owns the rich lands of Aquitaine, and she’s determined to set her Plantagenet sons against their father.  Strangely the eldest son Henry has already been crowned, but he has no power and that enrages him.

Meanwhile, King Henry can’t be faithful to any woman, but shockingly he has seduced and impregnated the 11 year old girl who is to marry his son Richard, she’s also the daughter of the French King Louis and King Henry is terrified that her father will discover the secret.

I enjoyed this one although these older historical fiction books often have a more stilted style of writing.